Prosecution Asks for Release of Two Accused in Canadia Trial

During closing arguments Monday, prosecutors in a multimillion-dollar embezzlement case against two former employees of Canadia Bank and two alleged accomplices requested that judges release two of the defendants and convict two others.

Despite Canadia Bank’s lawyers insisting that Leng Suntry, the former head of the bank’s credit card department, colluded in the $2.3 million fraud, which was carried out over six months using fake credit cards, prosecutors said there was not enough evidence to convict.

Deputy prosecutor Chet Khemara argued that Yeth Sopheaktra, 30, formerly a manager under Mr. Suntry, carried out the fraud together with her boyfriend, Sun Saonin, 43. He also asked the court to drop charges against Ms. Sopheaktra’s mother, Chak Kimheng, an accused accomplice.

Chou Chanthyra, a lawyer representing Canadia Bank, argued that Mr. Suntry was complicit in the scheme, as he controlled the issuing of all credit cards.

“Mr. Suntry knew about this case and he colluded with Ms. Sopheaktra,” he said. “He hid her activity and did not report it to high-ranking employees of the bank.”

But Mr. Suntry denied knowledge of the alleged crime, in which Ms. Sopheaktra is accused of withdrawing tens of thousands of dollars a day from ATMs in the city.

“I did not know Ms. Sopheaktra was withdrawing the cash from the ATMs,” Mr. Suntry said.

Ms. Sopheaktra has insisted during the trial that she was the only person within the bank who carried out the crime, a version of events that prosecutors seemingly came to accept Monday.

Ms. Sopheaktra’s lawyer Cheng Peng Hab asked Presiding Judge Kor Vandy to be lenient in his sentencing, due to her confession.

“I accept that my client has committed the crime and I request court to reduce the punishment of imprisonment,” he said.

Chung Eav Heng, another lawyer representing Canadia, made the opposite recommendation.

“I request that the court sentence Ms. Sopheaktra to maximum imprisonment,” he said.

Sentencing is due on July 18.

mengleng@cambodiadaily.com

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